3D printing is used widely in additive manufacturing and medical technology. While it is used to create medical models, it is now used to create better pills. The US Food And Drug Administration recently approved the first ever 3D-printed pill that is used to treat patients suffering from epilepsy. The pill was created by an Ohio-based company called Aprecia Pharmaceuticals.
The pill, called Spritam, is made using the ZipDose technology which is a process that makes the pill porous thus it dissolves easily once taken. This drug is very beneficial for patients who have difficulty in swallowing, making it great for patients who are suffering from epileptic episodes.
Aside from being easily swallowed, the company noted that the use of 3D printing technology allows them to pack high doses of drug in the tablet; which is quite beneficial since most epileptic patient loath taking large sized medicines. Moreover, this new 3D printed drug is very convenient because patients and their caregivers no longer need to measure the dose since each dose is already packed individually. This is very convenient when emergency situations arise.
To create this drug, special 3D printers were used to create them. Conventional 3D printers use polymers but the specially designed 3D printers use chemical compounds to produce the drugs. This clearly shows that 3D printing technology is very versatile.
Currently, the drug is not yet available to the public and the drug will go on sale during the first quarter next year but the company is planning to make more formulations using the 3D printing technology.